Throughout COVID-19, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce has utilized multiple platforms to assist and share with businesses the most up-to-date information.

The chamber’s Coffee with the CEO started off as an opportunity for members to connect in-person with the chamber’s CEO, Gail Zurek, on issues they faced.

As a result of the pandemic, Coffee with the CEO went live on Facebook, which provided a wider platform for business and community members to connect virtually, share insights and support one another. Since the start of COVID-19, Coffee with the CEO has featured updates, challenges and insights from various industries that have reached an audience of nearly 23,000.

Chamber member 4Creeks and its marketing division, 4Creeks Creative, reached out to chamber staff, wanting to take a step further to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19.

They saw the digital divide between businesses, especially evident by COVID-19 restrictions, and launched their Channels of Change campaign. The campaign offered the chance for four businesses to be selected for a free website or social media makeover. The chamber was proud to partner on the promotion of Channels of Change and to see the effect on local business.

In November, the chamber would have been putting the final touches on the 40th annual Christmas Tree Auction. As the chamber postpones this year’s event until we can celebrate our milestone together, we remind our community to remember the meaning of the auction. The legacy event provides an opportunity for community members to support local nonprofits through donations while raising awareness for their causes. Since its inception, the auction has raised more than $4 million for organizations that provide critical services and resources to this community. The chamber plans to highlight past participating charities and encourage all to keep the heart of the Christmas Tree Auction alive within and show support to those charities.

In October, the chamber challenged Visalia to a Positive Review Challenge. For one week, the chamber encouraged the public to support local businesses by writing, posting and sharing positive reviews of their favorite local businesses.  As we enter the holiday season, the support of local business is needed more than ever. Please continue to be Loyal to Local and show your support of our local business community.

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